by Aaron Wilson
April 22, 02014
Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford is visiting the Atlanta Falcons today and has previously visited the Houston Texans, according to league sources.
Ford has conducted private workouts for the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and the Falcons.
Ford was rarely blocked all week at the Senior Bowl, using his superior speed to run past offensive tackles before they could lift out of their stances.
Ford put on a show for the South squad in their 20-10 victory over the North, displaying his edge pass-rushing skills to record two sacks and a pass deflection by halftime of the all-star game.
Ford is a classic hybrid pass rusher as a 3-4 outside linebacker who could potentially play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme if the 6-foot-2, 252 pound senior adds enough bulk. He could also project as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds, has bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times with a 35.5-inch vertical leap with a 10-4 broad jump.
"We had a hard time blocking him in the first half," Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, the coach of the North squad, said during the Senior Bowl."He's an outstanding edge rusher and was very disruptive in the first half, so we definitely had to make some adjustments."
Ford had two sacks of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the BCS national title game and had 10 1/2 sacks for the season.
His explosiveness as a speed rusher was extremely difficult to stop, whether he lined up on the left side or right side. His ability to lower his pad level, bend his knees and maintain his acceleration while dipping low to the ground was impressive.
"Speed is my favorite move," Ford said. "I can open up and do different things with the counter moves and speed-to-power. Once you beat them with speed, you have those tackles off-balance the whole game. I feel like I am one of the best pass rushers in this draft. I don't doubt myself."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun